Sometimes, you have a bad day at work. Sometimes, it’s caught on camera for the entire world to see.
Such is the plight of Kamal El-Hajji, sergeant at arms for Britain’s House of Commons. Yesterday, while completing his ceremonial duty to signify the end of a Parliament session, he accidentally dropped his sword. (To his credit, he recovered quickly.)
The sergeant at arms plays a key role in the often-boisterous House of Commons. He is responsible for keeping order and may be called upon to escort disrupters out. (In 1415, when the role was created, he also had the authority to arrest people.) The sergeant at arms also gets to carry the ceremonial House of Commons mace during the Speaker’s Procession each day and during the State Opening of Parliament, which marks the formal start of the session.
Just as in the 15th century, the sergeant wears a uniform and carries a sword at all times. (He is the only person allowed in the chambers with a weapon.)
Hajji has held the position since 2016. He was appointed by a panel of lawmakers. Before that, he held several security positions, including head of front of house and VIP relations at the Ministry of Justice, according to the BBC.